Following on from, and topping, a previous instalment of Life Is Strange is always a mean feat to accomplish. However, as with all times previously, the creators have done it again with Before the Storm episode 2.
Chloe’s path is cracking
In the opening of episode 1, Chloe Price was still pretty innocent – albeit sneaking out to secret gigs and smoking the odd bit of weed. So it was interesting to see how she is starting to walk that bad path we know her for during episode 2. Through dealing with Frank Bowers and ultimately breaking and entering a student’s dorm room for him, Chloe’s path starts to crack as it leads her forward into her not too distant future.
The choices I found myself making with Chloe had devastating effects on other characters too. In fact I found myself asking “What do I think Chloe would do?” as opposed to “What would I do?”. I was only interested in trying to secure the future Rachel and Chloe want together, and I was willing to let others hurt for it.
The relationship deepens
The episodes of the game are each set within one full day, so time is limited in developing such a close bond. But for me the creators do this with ease through such great use of the scenes that play out. Every interaction, each word spoken, serves to at the very least weave these two characters even closer together.
Chloe’s and Rachel’s relationship is taken to a whole other level through what is perhaps one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever watched in a game. The scene in question involves the reenactment of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and truly had me close to tears experiencing it.
Kylie Brown and Rhianna DeVries, who play Rachel and Chloe respectively, absolutely nail their performance throughout this game. A lot of different people go into the making of Life is Strange: Before the Storm – into what makes it great. However, I feel that Kylie and Rhianna carry much of the emotional weight of the story and do so with such grace using their voices alone.
An ending that takes your breath
Emotional, cliff-hanger endings are pretty much par for the course in Arcadia Bay. And I’m happy to say episode 2 delivers as I would expect. The only thing with this, is that it is such a great ending that I really don’t want to wait another two months or so for it.
During what could well be one of the most uncomfortable dinners of either Rachel or Chloe’s life, the cliffhanger ending is revealed and left me completely slack-jawed yet again.
With episode 1 I felt like I needed a break after the explosive ending that occurred. But with episode 2, with it’s revelation right at the end, it only made me want to immediately know more.
A raging fire
Perhaps what I find most moving of all, is related to the fact that we know the ultimate destinies of these characters. This is why I find it very hard to hate David; and why I can’t feel too sorry for Nathan when his Dad is giving him grief. But most of all, it’s why I can’t help feeling almost heart-broken when Rachel and Chloe confess their feelings; their future plans; and share their first kiss. Much like Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, these girls’ relationship is a raging fire close to being snuffed out.